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Black Driver in Vermont Has Disturbing Encounter

2 others motorists flag down driver with New York plates, tell him to leave state, say police
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2020 12:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – State police in Vermont say they're investigating a black driver's disturbing run-in with two other motorists that had "racial undertones," reports the Burlington Free Press. The man told police he was driving with his 11-year-old son near their home in Hartford when two vehicles approached and flagged him down. The man—whose car has New York state plates—stopped, thinking they needed help, according to a state police news release. But a white male then told him he wasn't wanted in Vermont and should leave the state.

"There were significant racial undertones to the interaction," says the police report. "The victim ... was able to verbally deescalate the situation and drive home," and no physical confrontation occurred. Police are investigating, and Gov. Phil Scott has linked the incident to fears over the prevalence of COVID-19 in New York. "Concerns about this virus CANNOT be used as an excuse for hate, bigotry, or division—of any type—for any reason," he wrote on Facebook. Scott added that the family became Vermont residents a few months ago. (Read more Vermont stories.)

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